Originally Posted by OKCAg2002
Why do the folks at White Labs and Wyeast always say that a starter isn't usually necessary? I come on here and it's almost a given that you should do it.
They are correct - your beer will ferment, but a source of a a lot of off flavors is under pitching your yeast. The yeast become stressed and generate off flavors. A good healthy starter will allow the beer to begin fermenting I as little as 2-4 hrs. And produce a better cleaner tasting beer.
Lagers almost always require a starter because you are pitching the yeast into a cooler batch of wort.